How does acupuncture work?
Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese method of encouraging the body to promote natural healing and to improve functioning. It heals by balancing energy within the body. Most patients barely feel a thing as the hair-thin, sterile, disposable needles are shallowly inserted into very precise acupuncture points along meridians stimulating the body’s own natural healing mechanisms back to health. Much like a highway system, the meridians are interconnected energetic pathways in our body where Qi, or energy, flows. Just as a traffic jam may cause a buildup of cars leading to distressed drivers, a block in our Qi can cause illness and pain. Acupuncture helps to restore the healthy flow of Qi.
What should I expect?
While some first-time patients may have a fear of needles, it quickly subsides once the patient realizes they barely feel a thing! The needles are hair-thin, and unlike a getting a shot or giving blood, nothing is injected or drawn from the body. In fact, most patients don’t even feel the needle go in!
We use additional relaxing points to remove some of the anxiety around needle phobias and most patients leave the treatment with a sense of relaxation and well-being that can last for hours – and sometimes days.
Other components of Tradition Chinese Medicine (TCM) include moxibustion, cupping, and Chinese herbal medicine. Moxibustion is the burning of artemesias vulgaris, or mugwort (a plant from the daisy family), directly on an acupuncture point or over an affected area. Moxa is often used in case of chronic diseases. Cupping therapy is another form of alternative medicine to create local suction on the skin to promote healing.
‘Acupuncture’ as a treatment encompasses much more than simply needling: it involves complex interactions, empathy, intention, and attention. Acupuncture is not only used to heal, but as a preventive medicine. It is a great complement to other physical interventions and has few side effects.
A few ways acupuncture can help you:
- Affects hormone levels to bring about balance. This is especially evident when treating menopause, women’s health challenges, and infertility.
- Reduces inflammation which speeds healing after injury or surgery, reduces pain and may prevent serious diseases like auto-immune diseases that have inflammation as a major component.
- Releases endorphins. These are the body’s feel good chemicals. They reduce pain and are a great alternative to opiate-like pain medications like hydrocodone andoxycodone.
- Boosts immune system. It can prevent both recurrence of illnesses and new illness by improving the overall functioning of the body’s immune and organ systems